For many photographers, the hardest part of their work-flow comes down to choosing the images that will “make it through to the next round” for editing purposes. This is a crucial part of any digital work-flow, and being able to cull the 40 or so images from that awesome cheetah sighting you witnessed down to a handful of images can be a tough process.
In this series of blog posts, I will run through some of the criteria that I like to use when working through and selecting my best images from sightings. Last week I touched on selecting only images which you are sure are sharp and in focus, and how the devil is in the detail. You should already be picking up a trend that it really does come down to the small details when choosing a single “best image” out of a sequence of images. I am going to stick with this theme and show you another example.
It is not uncommon for a photographer to rattle off a number of frames with a moving subject. The difficult part again comes down to how you choose which image of the sequence will be your keeper.
The thing to remember when trying to convey movement in an image is that unless your subject has one or more of its limbs (lets stick with four legged animals here shall we) off of the ground, you are not able to easily convey your story (that this subject was on the move) to someone that was not with you at the sighting. The images below were taken during a safari that I led to Botswana’s Okavango Delta & Duba Plains Camp.
A decent image which, if you look carefully, you can see that the male lion’s paw is slightly of the ground. This is a good start but the fact that the lion is on the move is not immediately obvious.
In this second image the movement of the lion is more obvious as the paw is folded and shows that the lions is moving forward.
This third image is my choice as the keeper as the folded paw is clearly visible and the lion is in the middle of his stride. The fact that the female next to him was in mid yawn just makes it that much better but I haven’t mentioned this until now as her gape is fairly constant throughout the sequence, meaning that the for me, the determining factor is the male’s posture.
Once again, these are minor details but they do make a big difference when it comes to narrowing down your best images from a sequence or specific sighting.
I will have another example to share with you all on Thursday!
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